Born Alice Laidlaw to a hard-pressed farming family of Scottish and Irish origins in rural Huron County, Ontario, in 1931, Munro studied at the University of Western Ontario. She married James Munro, later a bookseller, while still a student and did not complete a degree. The couple had four daughters but divorced in 1976; she married her second husband, geographer Gerald Fremlin, in 1977.
Munro published her first collection of stories - Dance of the Happy Shades - in 1968 and her 14th, Dear Life, in 2012. Over those 45 years, the "Canadian Chekhov" has won both critical reverence and the loyalty of fans across the world for stories that can encapsulate a life within a dozen pages, and for a tender but unsparing gaze on the ordinary events that assume giant dimensions in all our lives.
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